Thousands of people in Ontario can now be alerted of severe weather and other hazards faster and more efficiently than ever before.
It's all thanks to the National Alert Aggregation and Dissemination system funded, built and operated by Pelmorex communications - the parent company of The Weather Network.
On Wednesday, October 10, a test message was sent out to residents in the province's Bruce County, using radio and television platforms. The test message read:
This is a test of the Ontario Emergency Public Warning System.This system is used to warn Ontario residents of serious and immediate threats to their lives and safety. In case of an actual emergency we will use this system to share valuable information about what the threat is, where it is happening, and what you can do to protect yourselves and your families from that threat. Bruce Power, The Weather Network and local television and radio stations have recently partnered to enhance the local public alerting capability in the North-eastern Lake Huron area in order to ensure that residents are better able to receive the messages issued through this system. This has been a test of the Ontario Emergency Public Warning System.
The goal, in cooperation with the province of Ontario and Bruce Power was to demonstrate how the public can effectively be warned about emergency situations.
"We've been working with The Weather Network and the Pelmorex system, as well as the province and key stakeholders to make this test occur," says Dan McArthur, Manager of Emergency Planned Programs with Bruce Power.
"For a number of years we've always relied on sirens within the three kilometre zone around the site," McArthur adds. "Now, primarily what we're looking to do is to strengthen our ability and the province's ability to communicate and provide alerts to the public. There are a number of new avenues that we're looking to utilize and bring together as part of this test, so that we can actually look to alerting beyond 40 km of our site."
The NAAD System messages would cover any sort of hazardous emergency situation, including industrial incidents, missing child ["Amber Alerts"] as well as extreme weather warnings such as tornadoes.
McArthur says a system like this is needed in a province that sees so much active weather.
"Severe weather seems to be on the rise, and we've seen around the world where a public notification would be of benefit to people of various regions. This system will be of great benefit to the province."
For more details on Alerts currently in effect across Canada, be sure to check the Severe Weather section of our website..